Posts Tagged ‘Life’

(personal/writing) Writing in the wind

writer

I’m currently sitting in a comfy chair in an infusion room at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester, with an IV in my arm, waiting for my next Remicade infusion. It’s raining outside, and as I’m on the 6th floor, I have a lovely view of the parking lot, and the rain. (Hey, at least it’s not snow. I don’t have to shovel rain.) Days like this, when I’m due for my medication and it’s grey, and I’ve had a very busy weekend, I’m usually NOT wanting to do anything. I want to just curl up in my chair and let the Benadryl take me away into dreams, but I’m still working on deadline, so no sleeping today.

I’ve also been re-reading The Artist’s Way – I am feeling…not blocked, precisely, but more unsatisfied. Like I know there is more I could be doing, but I’m stuck in the “don’t wanna” phase. I want to have this book done. I want to have the next book done. I just don’t want to write it.

At the same time, I don’t want to not write. I love writing. I love it when the words flow, and I love it when they don’t, and every page is a struggle, but it’s there and it’s blood and you can see it. It’s a tension within me, and the more days I go without writing, the more I hurt. And it’s a mental hurt, that slowly twists within me to a physical hurt. And I didn’t realize WHY, until I looked at The Artist’s Way and realized I haven’t been doing morning pages or artist dates or really anything other than slogging through life and work and BLEAH, as Snoopy would say. Not the way I want to live my life.

Part of this was what happened this weekend. Birka was this weekend, and it was a mixture of sad and happy things. The sad was going by the empty chair outside the merchant hall that someone had written “Uncle Olaf’s Chair” on, since Baron Olaf, who started the event and was almost always there, passed away suddenly in December. The happy was two-fold – I was feeling well enough that I didn’t need to “recover” so much from running around for two days straight, and I was inducted into the Order of the Silver Crescent, a service order in the Kingdom. My whole family showed up! It was awesome! And best of all, my mom passed along her medallion to me. I will cherish it.

But it showed me that life is fleeting, and that you can’t make excuses, or one day, there won’t be any more time. So morning pages are going to start again. I’m going to plan an artist’s date for myself, even if it’s something as simple as going to the library and browsing the books, or going to Gibson’s and coloring in one of my new coloring books by myself for an hour. It’s time to start refilling the well.

I start editing a new piece for a friend this week too, which I am SUPER excited about. And I’m putting together a website for another favorite project that I’ll be able to link to soon, I hope. I need to finish the Winter’s Secrets rewrite, and then it’s on to working on launching a Patreon project. I have plans, and I don’t intend to not work on them.

(personal) Tea, and the quitting of soda

tea

I love tea. It’s no secret that I love tea, and that I am a wee bit of a tea snob (yes, Molly totally gets it from me, except that I can’t afford to buy my personal blends all the time, so I do occasionally buy tea from the grocery store. But even then, it’s still the speciality teas. I just don’t like plain black tea anymore.) – but I used to have another habit as well. I used to live on soda.

 

It started in college, when I was on my own (yay!) and could make my own decisions about what to put in my body. It turns out I was woefully unprepared for such authority, which led to me living on caffeine, sugar, and about 4 hours of sleep a night. It was not a pretty sight.

 

In December this past year, I decided I was quitting soda again. Cold turkey. I’ve tried and failed to do this before – I’ve always cheated and then given up because “well, I’m just addicted and that’s it.” But this time, for whatever reason, it stuck.

 

I haven’t had a soda (barring mixed drinks) since December 3, really. I do not count ginger ale as soda, because I only drink it when I’m really not feeling well. But for those who used to know how to find me by following the trail of Pepsi cans, this is a huge thing. I’ve replaced the soda with iced tea and hot tea, and even occasionally with water. I still like bubbles, but I can get those with seltzer.

 

It hasn’t been easy. I still crave them, but I remind myself that tea is better (I drink mine unsweetened, so the savings in calories alone has been huge), and that soda bothers my stomach. That soda has a ton of processed garbage in it. That I have better things to drink.

 

That said, you will pry my rum and Coke with lime out of my cold, dead fingers. So if you see me with a soda, rest assured, there’s probably booze in it.

(personal/writing/advent) New Year brings new opportunities

Happy-new-Year-cool-Clipart-pictures-free-Download2

 

It’s the beginning of a new year, and one I’m hoping is better than last year. No, one I will MAKE better than next year.

 

I’m recommitting to several things – my goal to get healthy; my writing; and myself. Yes, I’m going to be enforcing my time to get better. I can’t take care of others at the expense of myself. I need to remember that.

 

Work is going to be VERY busy in the next month – my day job is in the financial sector, and it’s the tax season. Which means I need to be healthy, so I can work the hours I need to. In addition, I’m getting ready to publish Winter Secrets, which means I’ll be writing a lot, because well, I need to finish the rewrite by January 31. I’m also going to be doing at least weekly updates here (more if I can, but I’m only committing to weekly) so that I can keep all you lovely folks in the loop!

 

I’m not doing resolutions this year, but I have made out my business plan for the year, and I have three books to write:

  • The rewrite of Winter Secrets, which will be published in May
  • The first draft of Deep Waters, the first Pendragon novel
  • The first draft of Resonant Frequencies

I’ll have more on that later. I’m also going to be at ConCarolinas and Balticon in the early summer, and some others maybe later in the year.

(writing/personal) Nano on the horizon!

Maple leaves in Autumn.

I can’t believe it’s nearly November. This year has flown by. You know what else I can’t believe?

I’m going to try and write two novels in November. Yes, I’m probably insane. But, well, what are goals for if not to inspire us, right?

I’ve started going to the studio first thing in the morning (6:30 am is an EVIL, EVIL time) and writing before work. I have a blessed studio mate who makes sure I’m fed and not bumping into walls, and so far, it seems to be working. I’ve got the first outline for Nano done (the Advent story, which is going to be awesome, you guys), and this week, I’m working on the second one (for Resonant Frequencies). I’ve got the edits back for Winter’s Secrets as well, and although I won’t make a December 1 deadline for getting that published, I do promise you it will be coming. I just want it to be perfect, and it’s not yet.

I’m hoping this helps combat some of the SAD that I know is coming. As the days get shorter, and the air gets crisp and cold, I can feel it creeping in at the edges of my mind, sinking icy fingers into my heart and turning everything pale and cold. I don’t like feeling that way, and in the past, writing has helped me stave it off. I’m hoping to repeat that success. Wish me luck.

(weekly update) It’s Sunday again – a day of rest, right? No.

Well, in a way it is. I’m in my favorite sweat pants and my DKP teeshirt, and I have no intention of changing. I’m going to move at a pace that still gets things done, but doesn’t wear me out. I’m getting my next Remicade treatment on Wednesday, and I’m still nurturing a cold (which needs to get the fuck out, because they won’t give me my meds if I have a cold), so it’s going to be a slow, steady mosey all day. And I can do a lot of it sitting down.

 

In writing news, I have the edits back from the lovely Sue Baiman for Winter’s Secret, so I can get working on those this week. Yay, this book is getting closer to being real! I also need to get cracking on the last of my beta read for Ripley Patton and get those back to her (omg, you guys, this book is SOOOOO good and she is amazing and you should go buy Ghost Hand now so you can start catching up). And of course, NaNoWriMo is coming, and I need to get moving on the outline for Advent #5.

 

In non-writing news, I’m holding on to an 18-lb weight loss in two months, and looking forward to doing more. I’ve gotten rid of my YMCA membership and started a membership at my work’s gym. No excuses! Also, Herbalife is awesome.

 

Well, the laundry isn’t going to fold itself, sadly. Time to get moving!

(writing) NaNo is coming!

It’s getting colder. I have my first cold of the fall (joy. It didn’t even wait for September 23 to come in, and it’s really overstaying its welcome. But I digress.) and the leaves are changing. And you all know what that means:

It’s NaNoWriMo time again!

I’m on the site as captain_hobbes, if you want to add me. I’m going to do the next Advent story (imaginatively titled “Advent #5, Pavel takes us traveling”) and so I’ll be working on both my playlist (which will be on Spotify) and my outline for the next month. I’m determined to have everything ready to go for November 1. Despite everything, I’m going to win NaNo this year.

I’m still working on Resonant Frequencies as well, but I don’t know if I’ll finish it before NaNo. If I don’t, I’m not worried – I’ll come back to it in December.

I’m also still battling depression. It gets worse in the winter, and it’s not being helped by circumstances here in my life right now. But I’m hoping to get through it. After all, my average so far is 100% for making it through.

Hopefully, I’ll have some more blog posts for you guys as well. The website needs an overhaul and I want to get some more stuff out. But all in good time. Right now, you can also catch me blogging Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at Dark Knight Paranormal’s blog, the TAPS affiliate that I’m a part of.

(personal/writing) A blissful, lazy Sunday

I don’t get many of these anymore. I slept late, had my shake for breakfast (for those who don’t know, I’m doing the Herbalife program right now, and it’s FABULOUS), and already folded a load of laundry while watching last night’s Ghost Adventures. Now, I’ve got a cup of tea, because it’s getting cool again, and instead of iced tea, I’m craving hot tea again. That’s part of fall I love. The fact that snow is coming? Well, having the snowblower means I don’t worry as much, so yeah, I’m okay with the fact that the seasons are moving on.

 

I’m baking bread today as well. I’ve figured out that it’s not the gluten that bothers me – it’s the artificial preservatives. Which is awesome on the one hand (Yay, real bread again!), but dude, do you know how much of what is offered at the grocery store is full of artificial preservatives? I can handle guar gum, xanthum gum, salt, and citric acid. That’s about it. But that’s okay, because it means I can use my bread machine again! Yay!

 

I’m writing again too. The current novel involves a poet and a watercolorist – both things I have very little experience with. So it’s a learning experience. But I’m enjoying it. I’m also writing it without an outline, and it’s not an urban fantasy that involves the world as we know it ending. It’s a reminder that even if there isn’t a super-evil coming to destroy us all, there are stories that are woven in the tapestry of time. Hmm, I might have Mark use that. A tapestry of time would be a lovely image for Abby too.

 

In addition, I’m working on the concept for the next Advent story. Since I introduced some of Drew’s family during the Wedding story, I thought I might investigate some of the other people important in Molly, Drew, and Schrodinger’s life. And how to do that? With books, of course. (I also admit to being inspired by a Pintrest post about doing a 25-day book Advent calendar. How cool is that?)

 

Today, I’m blogging, both here and setting up the week’s blogs over at Dark Knights Paranormal. We’ve got another investigation coming up on October 12 – if you’re in the New Hampshire area (or New England, really) and want to come along, you can sign up here to join us!  We’d love to have you along!

(writing) More words!

So, um, yeah, I haven’t been writing. *sigh* Well, I am now! Not only am I working on a new book (titled Resonant Frequencies, and quite possibly the beginning of a world that I could write a few books in, if I wanted to), but I’m blogging now over at Dark Knights Paranormal! This is the TAPS affiliate for New Hampshire that I’m a part of, and we’re going to have some interesting things going on over there! Check us out!

 

Oh, and yes, there WILL be an Advent story this year. I’ve gotten an interesting idea, and it’s going to involve Pavel. Lots of Pavel. And we’ll get to see some of the Sea Roads. So I think you’ll enjoy that.

 

In conclusion, let me leave you with a little bit of Abby, one of the protagonists of RF:

She wandered down the broken fieldstone path to the old stone bench that some former owner had planted under what might have once have been a well-groomed apple tree. Now, the tree was sprawling and gnarled, covered in the remains of blossoms that smelled of sweet decay and sent pale flower petals up into the air with every breeze, and it curled around the bench like a lover. The bench itself was bathed in sunlight, and sitting in the middle of it was a very large long-haired black cat that was snoring.

“Cats are not supposed to snore, Timothy,” she said, and he deigned to open one green-gold eye at her. “Really.”

He snorted at her and closed his eye again. Abby grinned, her mood starting to lift, and settled in next to him, stroking his soft fur. The snoring became a purr.

“Where’s your brother?” she asked. Timothy didn’t answer, but as she continue to sit and pet him, she saw another fluffy black tail come sauntering through the weeds towards them.

Sheridan burst out of the grass, his copper eyes wide and his pink tongue lolling from one side of his mouth, his smushed Persian face covered in random pieces of green. He looked as if he’d fallen into someone’s grass pile.

 

(writing/personal) blowing the dust out of the corners

Good thing that it’s only electronic dust, because lord, there is a lot of it! I have been dealing with depression, family illness, and stress, so I haven’t been writing. Or blogging. Or really doing anything, to be honest. And I don’t know that the stress is going away soon, so I’m trying to pick up the threads as I can.

 

We got Molly and Drew safely married, and the stage is beginning to be set for the next Advent story that will be posted in December. Winter Secrets, the first Advent book, is off to the editor, so I have to make a decision of how I’m going to do that. I know folks want actual books, but that might have to wait until I can sell some other books (ahem). Self-publishing is expensive. But I’m still hoping to do it! It will at the very least be available as an ebook this Christmas.

 

I’m also working on two other books right now: Deep Waters, the first Sapphire Pendragon novel (yeah, I know, it was supposed to be a novella, but it decided against that); and Resonant Frequencies, which is an urban fantasy that isn’t about saving the world. Which is odd, but there you go. It’s about elves, artists, and the need we all have to be connected to someone.

 

I’m also now blogging for Dark Knight Paranormal, the NH affiliate of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society), so you can find me there Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I’m hoping that between there and here, I actually start getting a presence out.

 

I’m also going to be honest – I could use the support now. For the folks who want to know how they can help: buy my books (especially the ones I have on Amazon). Promote my books. And for the sake of all the gods, remind me to write! 🙂

Trials and Tribulations, or why can’t Val update a blog on a regular basis?

Of course, this could be titled “Why can’t Val do anything on a regular basis?” I seem to have issues with regularity, and I wonder why.

 

It could be that somewhere in my dim, distant past, something linked “a regular routine” with “boring” and I HATE boring with a fiery passion. And yes, I know that routine doesn’t have to be boring. I just don’t seem to be able to stick with it.

 

However, I am not a quitter, and so I’m trying again. With some differences, of course – if it hasn’t worked before, why would I try the same thing? Also, see boring, above. This time, I’m leaving my laptop at the studio, forcing myself to go in. And I’ll be doing my blog updates at the same time as my writing – they may not be long, but dammit, I’m going to update! Starting today.

 

I’m on the tail-end of pneumonia (yeah, in the summer. I’m talented, what can I say?), and I’m coming off a low that is partly sickness, partly sadness, and partly frustration. My new goal is 250 words a day. I’m on the Magic Spreadsheet again, and I’ve got a couple of projects that I’m working on. I have an editor for Winter’s Secrets, and one of the projects in the queue is the wedding of the summer – Molly and Drew are getting married on July 25, and they hope you’ll be there for it! There’s a 6-day Summer Advent story that will be going on, and there will be at least one prize (come on, you want one of their wedding favors, don’t you?), so keep a look out for that!

 

Okay, I’ve got a lot to do today, so off to the word mines!